Question Speaker selection issues for a budding audiophile

Supermies

Active member
Aug 5, 2022
20
8
25
Hi everyone!

I've tried sifting through reviews and different forums and the end results that I'm more confused than when I started. My dabbling into hifi started when I bought used Denon amp and a pair of Cambridge Audio Minx XL speakers, so pretty standard stuff to start with. Then I jumped to a Yamaha RX-V581 amp, a pair of Martin Logan Motion 20s and some cheap shelf speaker as mid. Well, those went with the ex as her dad bought it for us. Then I went to buy a pair of Genelec G3s, but came out of the store with an Yamaha RX-V781 and a pair of Kef LS50s as I liked the sound better. I've been happy with the Kefs for years now, but suddenly remembered that I liked watching movies more with the mid channel speaker, and here is where the problems start.

At first I thought I'll just buy another LS50 and the problem is solved! Until I noticed it's been discontinued. Okay I found pairs of the older model pretty cheap. But then I started looking at the spesified mid channel speakers, first I thought it's going to be a Kef Q650C, but as it always happens, you start to read up on things and the hunger grows. So I decided that okay, I'm going to buy a Kef R2C and that's it, problem solved! Until I messaged my local dealer and they don't have it in my color anymore and there's a new model coming, but he doesn't know when. I could just wait around for the new one, or wait for the last R2Cs to drop to clearance and buy it from a dealer that still has black in stock. But, of course I also started to think about switching things up a bit and switching the Kefs to something new. The new Meta version would be an obvious choice, but it might be a little playing it safe and boring. I did LOVE to listen to music with the Martin Logans, even more than I love the Kefs. I don't know the proper terminology, but the sound was a bit more rough and rock 'n roll, not so clean and maybe sophisticated as with the Kefs.

So if you've managed to stay with me this far, is there any other brands or spesific speakers that I should be looking into with the information above? The optimum outcome would be a 3.1 system, as I watch a lot of movies and play games, but when the time is right, I also love to just immerse myself into the world of music. I'm hoping to keep my current amp and maybe spend around 2000€+ what I can get from the LS50s for the three speakers and add a sub later. Or are the Kefs just unbeatable at this price range and I should just a buy some Kef center channel and praise some possible entity above that I got out for as cheap as that?

Any input appreciated! And have a nice weekend everyone!
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Welcome!

An interesting tale, and I get what you mean about the rock ‘n’ roll of more sensitive speakers like the ML. I’m more a KEF man myself, and I’ve owned the original LS50 like yours, so I am very familiar with their sound.

Where I struggle a bit is the 3.1 side. I’d certainly see the merit of a sub especially if you like movies and rock music. I’m less persuaded about the centre speakers, but only because a carefully setup LS50 pair can offer such precise central imaging I personally don’t miss much. I do realise that AV setup are meant to have a dialogue channel however.

Really you need to hear a few alternatives, as you’re seeking quite a specific character. I’d try the single LS50 as an add on first. If you buy used on eBay you can probably resell without a loss, if you change your mind. I’d worry you throw the baby out with the bath water if you ditch the LS50, because the sort of system you ideally need could be well in excess of your budget.

You could get the less refined KEF Q system within budget, amongst others here…
 
Last edited:

Supermies

Active member
Aug 5, 2022
20
8
25
Welcome!

An interesting tale, and I get what you mean about the rock ‘n’ roll of more sensitive speakers like the ML. I’m more a KEF man myself, and I’ve owned the original LS50 like yours, so I am very familiar with their sound.

Where I struggle a bit is the 3.1 side. I’d certainly see the merit of a sub especially if you like movies and rock music. I’m less persuaded about the centre speakers, but only because a carefully setup LS50 pair can offer such precise central imaging I personally don’t miss much. I do realise that AV setup are meant to have a dialogue channel however.

Really you need to hear a few alternatives, as you’re seeking quite a specific character. I’d try the single LS50 as an add on first. If you buy used on eBay you can probably resell without a loss, if you change your mind. I’d worry you throw the baby out with the bath water if you ditch the LS50, because the sort of system you ideally need could be well in excess of your budget.

You could get the less refined KEF Q system within budget, amongst others here…

Thanks for your input Nopiano! I tried searching for a single LS50 for a week now with no results, but today one dealer finally answered me and it seems that is my way out of this! And for a fraction of the price I was already getting willing to spend 😅

How critical is sub timbre matching? I don't know anything about those, so I was thinking if I tried it out with a cheaper one, or is just going to disappoint me and I'm buying a more expensive Kef in a week?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Thanks for your input Nopiano! I tried searching for a single LS50 for a week now with no results, but today one dealer finally answered me and it seems that is my way out of this! And for a fraction of the price I was already getting willing to spend 😅

How critical is sub timbre matching? I don't know anything about those, so I was thinking if I tried it out with a cheaper one, or is just going to disappoint me and I'm buying a more expensive Kef in a week?
Good news about the single LS50!

I’m not much of a sub expert, I’m afraid. There are a few big brands that you pretty much get better with ascending price. Timbre imo isn’t too critical at below 100Hz, it’s more about power and depth (how low!). SVS seem to be stonking value if you can buy them in your location. Lots of great info and advice on their website too (ideal for amateurs like me).

Worth asking the dealer too. They might have an open box or ex-demo KEF?!
 
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Supermies

Active member
Aug 5, 2022
20
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25
Good news about the single LS50!

I’m not much of a sub expert, I’m afraid. There are a few big brands that you pretty much get better with ascending price. Timbre imo isn’t too critical at below 100Hz, it’s more about power and depth (how low!). SVS seem to be stonking value if you can buy them in your location. Lots of great info and advice on their website too (ideal for amateurs like me).

Worth asking the dealer too. They might have an open box or ex-demo KEF?!

Yes! I was really down when I noticed I'm not going to get a third one without buying up a pair, and that's where the price hike came, which started this whole mess! 😂 Maybe I'll get back to the Martin Logan train when I wear these Kefs out, or win the lottery, which ever comes first! Either way, it seems it's not going to happen any time soon 😅 Those 35xti interest me immensely, but maybe that's better left untouched right now.

I did read good things about SVS subs! Those are about 799€ and up in Finland, and I was hoping to spend less, but I guess that's the price for a descent speaker of any kind 🤷‍♂️ I just gotta figure out what I should look out for so I don't get evicted! Thanks again Nopiano!
 

Supermies

Active member
Aug 5, 2022
20
8
25
Good news about the single LS50!

I’m not much of a sub expert, I’m afraid. There are a few big brands that you pretty much get better with ascending price. Timbre imo isn’t too critical at below 100Hz, it’s more about power and depth (how low!). SVS seem to be stonking value if you can buy them in your location. Lots of great info and advice on their website too (ideal for amateurs like me).

Worth asking the dealer too. They might have an open box or ex-demo KEF?!
One last thing, as I have never had a sub, and I’m still some what wet behind the ears with technicalities of this stuff. Can you, or someone else tell me if I can connect SVS SB-1000 Pro to my RX-V781 without any problems? Otherwise it seems to be the sub to go for. Thanks!
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
One last thing, as I have never had a sub, and I’m still some what wet behind the ears with technicalities of this stuff. Can you, or someone else tell me if I can connect SVS SB-1000 Pro to my RX-V781 without any problems? Otherwise it seems to be the sub to go for. Thanks!
As far as I can see, all you need is a single subwoofer cable. Your AV amp is designed for a sub. The settings are as per the guide on SVS website, and be sure to try the sub turned down at first.
 
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